9 October 2017

The Green Climate Fund allocates $110 million to Kazakhstan for clean energy projects

The Kazakh Energy Ministry reported that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved $110 million in funding for renewable energy projects in Kazakhstan, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The Ministry reported: "This contribution of GCF involves concessional financing in the amount of $106 million and $4 million in subsidies for technical assistance”.

“The projects will be aimed at assisting the Kazakh Government in the transition to a green economy, including the development of solar, wind energy, small hydropower and biogas as well as the modernization and strengthening of electric grids in order to expand the integration of renewable energy sources”.

The funding will go to renewable energy projects within the framework programme on renewable energy developed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which up to date has invested approximately $2 billion in sustainable energy.

The EDRD framework was originally approved in 2016, as a more than $200 million financing pot to finance renewable energy projects and projects aimed at modernisation and strengthening of the electricity grid to integrate new renewable energy.

Aida Sitdikova, EBRD director, Energy and Natural Resources Russia, Central Asia and Caucasus, said: “The framework builds on eight years of policy and investment work in Kazakhstan”.

“lt makes a profound contribution to the scaling up of renewable energy in the country, combined with a strong focus on gender and inclusion and a drive to lay the regulatory foundations for a sustainable renewable energy market in the country”.

According to the announcement, there are currently 50 renewable energy projects in the country, a number that is expected to reach more than 100 in three years’ time.

The country’s renewable energy mix is comprised of 23 wind farms, 17 solar power plants, 13 hydroelectricity power projects and some biogas generation projects.

Wind energy has been given and will continue to be given priority due to the country’s favourable wind conditions.

Reportedly, the average annual wind speed in some regions like the capital and the Fort-Shevchenko reaches 9 meters per second.

These regions account for 2 percent of the country’s total area, namely 50,000 square kilometres, and could produce more than 1 trillion KWh per year, by far exceeding the country’s energy needs.

Kazakhstan aims to produce 50 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2050 and reduce its carbon emissions by 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, according to the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement.

Currently, Kazakhstan’s coal-fired plants account for approximately 72 percent of the country’s power generation.

The Green Climate Fund was established in 2010 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism to support efforts of developing countries to respond to climate change. 

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